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Working as an assistant on The Prince of Tennis p11

Woo! Here we go!!

To see a list of all of the posts in this series, click here. (*^-^*)

Skipping the questions this time so that we can get right down to the story! (Don’t worry, I’ll answer everything on the next post, though!!)

The time had just come for us to go take our seats.

All we had to do was walk, right? Simple, right??

Walk we did. Into the elevator, down to the first floor. Some cast members waved at Sensei and some ran forward to shake his hand. Some of them didn’t even look at us. Until we got to the stage at least. The curtain was still down, and a lot of the cast members were gathering in a huddle under the dim lights.

“Ganbare!” (Do your best!) Sensei shouted out suddenly, and they all looked up together.

“Okay!!!!!!” came the resounding chorus.

It was more than three years ago, but I remember it all like yesterday! I don’t really care about Tenimyu much anymore these days, but at the time it was a huge, huge thing for me. A defining moment. It made any hardship, sudden overnights, or other weird things that I’d been through more than worth it, a thousand times over!

We passed on by them and through a little door on the side of the stage. This led into the hallway next to the general entrance doors, and luckily the show was about to start, so the hallway was empty.

Well, sort of lucky. I mean, if nobody was in the hallway, that meant that the 2,000 ticket holders for that show were already sitting down, patiently watching the stage for the curtain to raise. And we were about to walk right in front of them.

And walk we did. Watanabe-san, followed by Konomi-sensei, then me, then Kaiwa-san, Marie, and finally Tamusho (and two personal guests of sensei’s).

One. Two.

By the time that I got to the third step, the entire theater burst out in screams. Do you know those kind of really high-pitched kind of *squealy* screams that Justin Beiber’s fans do when he walks by them? Yep, those kind of screams. XD;;;

Apparently many of the audience members knew what Konomi-sensei looked like (or they were just screaming because everyone else was).

I…. I felt really, really embarrassed. And kind of elated. It wasn’t me whom they were screaming for. But hey… I was going to be working on the project that they were so excited about (and I was excited too, of course!). So I was happy, just a little bit, to be included in the fuss. But mostly embarrassed. (I am pretty shy, remember)

(This is the theater we were walking into.)

Being seated with the creator meant that we had some pretty good seats: right smack-dab in the middle of the theater. We were the first row in the middle section, so that gave us plenty of leg room, and plenty of room if Sensei needed to escape.

It was still pretty loud with all of the sudden noise around us and it felt weird with people in front of us all turning to stare and point back at Sensei. But sitting next to the creator? That more than made up for any discomfort. :3 :3 :3

Remember how pretty he looks? :3

It wasn’t long before Watanabe-san disappeared into the back and the lights went off. That didn’t kill the screams… it actually made them worse as the music started and the cast members came on stage.

Okay…. I’ll admit something here.

I’d already seen this musical. Twice. ^o^;;; Tickets sell out within minutes of going on sale, and they had gone on sale months ago. Before I’d ever even started my assistant adventure. So, well.. I actually just mainly watched Konomi-sensei out of the corner of my eye the whole time. ^^;;;;;;

Want to watch the musical too? You can start here:

(The cast members that we saw that night were different, since they rotated. But you get the idea.)

It was a very long, long time until the intermission. All the way through, I kept having to do a double-take to confirm that I was actually there.

But the intermission did come, and I had to go to the bathroom pretty bad by then. It was just Konomi-sensei and I that got up as the lights came on, but we weren’t fast enough, and two girls came running up to shake his hand right as we were at the door. ^o^;;;;

Of course, he was graceful and turned to wave to everyone, to huge applause. I just sorta stood there awkwardly, not knowing what to do. It’s not like anybody knew who I was…. although since I’m taller than him and not.. well, not asian. And a female.. I kinda stand out a lot.

I checked some message boards a few days later (2chan), and some girls had written that they thought I was his wife.

^o^;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; (I guess I should be flattered..)

Come on… tell me you wouldn’t check too, in my case?

We didn’t return until the lights had gone down again, so there were no more interruptions/exclamations/noises on the way back to our seats.

The musical went by.

By the way, this is my favorite song from that musical:

It made chills go down my spine every time that I heard it, seriously. Hearing it now, it’s really nostalgic even if I don’t have the same feelings about it (I was a huge fan of that slash pairing, btw… actually, it was because of this scene that I became a fan when I’d first seen it).

And, finally, the ending music began to roll. The cast member came out in pairs and waved (cue more screaming/clapping. Btw, me and sensei were both clapping, but we were the only ones in our group clapping. No spirit from my teammates.. ;o; )

The curtain went down, but as was usual at a Tenimyu show (remember, I was a veteran..lol), the clapping didn’t stop until the curtain raised again for an encore. Then, finally, Ryoma’s actor (I think) took the microphone and introduced a “special guest star.”

Which was, of course…. who else?

Sensei walked up on stage, to deafening cheers (my ears will never be the same!), and started talking.

I was so proud. ToT Before, it had been embarrassing (and a little humbling, and a little bit exhilarating) to be in the spotlight, but now that I was in the shadows just watching, it was comfortable.. and fun. So, so fun. =^-^= Sure, the hard work hadn’t really began yet, and I still kind of felt like I wasn’t 100% deserving to be there, but watching someone that I’d really began to like, and who had already done so much for me by allowing me to be there..

..it was a priceless experience.

A DVD of this performance came out in February, and I tried to find copies of it on youtube so that I could refresh my memory of what Sensei said, but I couldn’t for the life of me find it. If I ever do, I’ll post them in a later post! (or if you have it and wouldn’t mind uploading it, please do! I’ll be really grateful!!)

He did announce the continuation of the manga (to deafening cheers, of course), and I remember that he gave one of the cast members (Luke C, who played Kite) his Gucchi sunglasses (they were the real thing!). To squeals 🙂

And then…

The curtains went down, there was another encore, and finally we were escorted back to our waiting room backstage by Watanabe-san.

And we were left there to wait..

We waited for a long time.. about 30 minutes. All of us were wondering what we were supposed to do, but Sensei was nowhere in sight and the staff was running around like crazy. I was wondering if I would be able to get the autographs for my friends, or the picture for Kaiwa-san..

But, I needn’t have worried.

Because it turns out that our night had just began.

It was just getting dark, but I wouldn’t be on a train heading home until after midnight.

Want to read what happened next? Did I get the autographs? The pictures? Or maybe… even better?

All that and more next time.. plus answers to any questions you ask!! (^o^)/

This time, I’m going to leave the comment number the same as before: 40. I know it seems like a lot, but if you reply to the comments of others and start up conversations with them, it’ll pile up fast! ^^ I promise to count them!

(1,206 geeks have read this)

Hi! This is Jamie Lynn Lano! I am a Washington State (USA) native who: ☆ Holds a Bachelors of the Arts in Media Arts & Animation from AiPx. ☆ Worked as an assistant mangaka in Japan for Konomi Takeshi on The Prince of Tennis. ☆ Was an essay columnist for Asahi Weekly from 2008-2013. ☆ Was the star of Asahi Pop'n Press on Asahi TV (Japan) from 2009-2013 ☆ Was a write for Metropolis magazine in 2010. ☆ Has kept a blog foreeeeeeeeever! First and Current blogs.

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